Today was a totally FABULOUS day. It started, of course, with another trip on the subway. I realize that the Subway is a part of daily life in NY, but I still think it's cool, so it still gets a mention - and a photo :)
I love that photo by the way, it looks like one of those advertising panels you see on the side of bus shelters. You know, the ads for products they can't show an actual picture of (usually health industry related), so they settle for the smiling person.... 'I got the Cervical Cancer Vaccination', 'I took out a life insurance policy', 'I say no to smoking'...)
We took the Subway out to Brooklyn, which is off Manhattan Island - not that I noticed, since we were in the subway. And then we had lunch at an Egyptian Falafal place in Brooklyn Heights. I liked Brooklyn Heights a lot - another cute neighbourhood. And the Falafal place is a little hole in the wall with great food. Yummy lunch. We ordered several 'sides' to taste things, and we pretty much had to roll each other out of place when we left. Luckily, we were on our way to work it off :)
Then we walked over to the Brooklyn Side of the Brooklyn Bridge, and began our walk across the Bridge back to Manhattan. It's about a mile, but it didn't take long at all. I loved the Bridge, and I have NO idea how they managed to build it so long ago! I'll have to put that bridge on my list of things to read up about. It's a beautiful bridge, and the views from the bridge were wonderful. Liberty Island and the rest of the NY harbour off to the left, and the skyline of Manhattan opening in front of us. The financial distract with it's massive sky scrapers were up on the left, and the rest of the skyline in front and over the right was excellent too. Couldn't get very good photos of it really, but I love the variety in colours and styles. The architecture is just so much older that anything we see at home, and there's so much character and history - and so many different and distinct styles. I think it's the variety I love.
Once we got to the other side of the bridge, we had a quick bathroom stop at Starbucks (since they have bathrooms at Starbucks), and we said goodbye to Justin who had to head off to go to uni to teach a class. Brecken and I wandered into the City Hall Park, which had a beautiful fountain with pretty gardens (it's spring, so the flowers are spectacular).
We set out to take some photos, and took turns with the camera. I'm still not very good at it, but I've been really enjoying it. Reuben was having fun walking on the edge of the edge of the fountain. Brecken kept telling him not to do it, but he kept finding his way back on :) Then he learnt an important lesson "Always listen to Mommy". I had the camera at the time, and catch the events as the unfolded....
I think Brecken summed it up perfectly on her blog, so I'll just quote her: "Reuben walked the edge. I told him to stop. I told him not to do it again. I was clear. I explained that he could fall in, and we had more plans for the day, and being wet would not be good for those plans. He ignored me. He made it three quarters of the way around when he started to run to regain balance. Tammy and I had seen him do this successfully before...but this time he was unsuccessful. He was running, then he was up to his neck in water, scrambling out. Tammy and I couldn't stop laughing. Tammy conintued to click photos, and I did head over to help him. The man you see walking towards Reuben in the in-the-fountain photo was a little shocked that we were laughing so hard. "Are you okay, kid! Are you okay?" Reuben's response: "That was really deep." He spent the rest of the day in his windbreaker, and the wet underwear, because no amount of wringing was going to dry those clothes enough. He wasn't hurt, just wet, and what else was there to do other than laugh. And, I had warned him, so he was asking for it. We went to Chinatown. Reuben sat quietly in the stroller, showing off way too much leg"
After the City Hall Park (and associated fountain adventures), we headed off to China Town. We forgot to take photos there - sorry. But it was still fun. We went to Brecken's favourite section - where the vendors are less agressive! The funny thing about China Town is that every vender sells exactly the same thing: Jewlery, hats, shawls, bags, magnants and "I love NY" T-shirts :) Brecken had also told me that as we walk along we'd have people whispering 'Gucci' 'Prada' 'Coach' etc. as we walked past them... these people would then - if we showed interest - take us into a side ally and show us their full range of really well done fake name-brand items! It's illegal, so they can't advertise it opening, which is why they just whisper it at you as you walk past. I was pretty delighted when we went to China Town and people actually whispered 'Gucci, Prada, Coach, JAG' etc. as I walked past :)
And then we went to little Italy, which merges with China Town over a street or two. All of the vendors in Little Italy sell the EXACT SAME THINGS as the vendors in China Town :) But with Italy stall/store owners and flair, instead of Chinese. I thought that was pretty funny. Little Italy was wonderful - I really loved it. We had some great Gelati from a Gelati stall on the sidewalk.
While we stood eating our gelati, we noticed some guys working across the street. They were obviously renovating a second floor apartment, and we trying to pull out all the old stone/wood/drywall materials that they were pulling out of the apartment there. We thought their approach was very funny though! They seemed to have a rope that they tied small bundles to, and lowered down to the people on the street below, who then untied it, and threw the little piece of whatever into the back of their truck. Those guys, are going to be there FOREVER! For all we know, they've already BEEN THERE forever! They didn't seem to be too bothered about workplace health or safety either, so I don't know why they don't just grab a dumpster and throw everything over the eadge of the scaffolding into the dumpster.
Brecken was telling me that the old 'piano falling out of the sky' thing came about because people in NY sometimes did/do the same thing with pianos - hauling them up or down the outside of a building in order to get them in through the window. It was while we were having this conversation that one of the guy's bundles came undone and it's contents crashed down on the sidewalk! Luckily, no one was killed :)
After the yummy gelato and the entertaining construction themed street show, we headed off to get some Italian bread to eat with the Spagetti Brecken made for dinner. Wonderul way to finish a wonderful day:)